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11-01-2021 | Review | Uitgave 2/2021

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2021

Coparenting a Child on the Autism Spectrum: a Systematic Review and Call for Research

Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2021
Naomi Downes, Emilie Cappe
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Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


A high-quality coparenting relationship among families of typically developing children has been shown to be beneficial for both parental and child outcomes. Nevertheless, these results cannot be generalized to parents of a child on the autism spectrum, as they are confronted with very different parenting demands. This systematic review aims to investigate the factors associated with coparenting a child on the autism spectrum. We systematically conducted this review according to the PRISMA statement. Twelve databases were searched and nine articles met the criteria for inclusion after screening. The findings suggested that certain factors such as parenting stress and satisfaction with the division of childcare-related labor are important aspects of coparenting a child on the autism spectrum. There was also some evidence to suggest that autism symptom severity may influence the coparenting relationship. However, the studies were limited by their number and heterogeneous methodologies. Further studies are needed to develop a greater understanding of risk and protective factors, as well as how the coparenting relationship affects the child on the autism spectrum throughout different stages of development. We provide recommendations to guide future research and discuss the implications for clinical practice towards the end of this systematic review.

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